Veteran J.Z. George football coach Ben Burton knows exactly what his Jaguars need to work on headed into next season. JZG concluded spring football practice with a 28-28 tie in a scrimmage with Leake County last Thursday.
“We moved the ball pretty well,” Coach Ben Burton said, but he added “We have a lot of work to do on defense.”
Quarterback Jordun Normal, running backs Jacob Johnson and Deriaun Townsend and receiver Malik Branch all played well, and the offensive line did a good job as a unit.
“The quarterback (Normal) did a good job managing the game,” Burton said.
A bright spot on defense was the play of linebacker Keyshawn Daniels.
Normal and Townsend will be sophomores in the fall, Daniels and Branch seniors and Johnson a junior.
J.Z. George will drop down to 2A and play in Region 2-2A following last year's 0-11 season.
“It will help us to move back to 2A, but that's not the most important factor,” Burton said. “The most important factor is winning.”
He said the 2018 Jaguars were hurt by a difficult non-district schedule that included 3A state champion Water Valley.
“Confidence goes a long way. Our non-district schedule is manageable. Once our kids start winning it's going to spill over.”
J.Z. George begins the season with two 1A teams that had losing records in 2018, McAdams at home Aug. 16 and Hamilton on the road Aug. 23.
Other teams in 2-2A are Bruce, Calhoun City, East Webster and Eupora. Calhoun City, the defending champion, reached the North State final last year before losing to state champion Scott Central.